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Friday, February 13, 2015

Big Pharma’s Psychotropic and Other Drug Problems

Catherine J. Frompovich

Are you or your children on psychotropic drugs? 

If so, you may be interested in knowing what independent researchers are finding regarding ADHD drugs, Antidepressant drugs, Antipsychotic drugs, and Anti-Anxiety drugs. CCHR International—The Mental Health Watchdog online, publishes an extensive listing of those drugs risks and/or possible side effects here

ADHD drugs:
RitalinConcertaAdderallMetadateVyvanseProvigil. [1] 

Antidepressant drugs:
PaxilProzacZoloftCelexaLuvox, WellbutrinCymbaltaEffexorLexaproElavilRemeron,Strattera and Sarafem. [1]

Antipsychotic drugs:
AbilifyClozarilGeodonInvegaRisperdalSeroquelZyprexaFanapt. [1] 

Anti-Anxiety drugs:
XanaxValiumHalcionKlonopinAmbienAtivan. [1]

Blogger Raven Clabough has written an excellent article titled, “Research: Antipsychotic Meds Cause Hopelessness, Zombie-Like State” that I think my readers ought to study, as Raven has done her “homework” very well, so I defer to her article. 

One of the issues Raven points out is: 
According to the American Psychiatric Association, five percent of American children have ADHD, but studies reveal more than 11 percent of American children are diagnosed with the condition. [CJF emphasis added] 
Therein we find a part of the problem, i.e., misdiagnoses with over-prescribing pharmaceutical drugs, which no authorities in either federal or state governments are addressing.Furthermore, a prescription-pad-practice, in my opinion, is tantamount to ‘soft medical malpractice’ by medical doctors, or others, who prescribe psychotropic drugs almost willy-nilly—all while not being held to proper oversight by those who lobby for the rules—professional organizations in many instances. 

Pharmaceutical drugs/business/markets have become behemoth institutions promoting money-making industries that, apparently, are too big to tackle or handle by medical boards, state licensing boards, and the medical professions, e.g., the American Medical Association. 

Bluntly, we could very well do without all of them. Why? Well, if “too big” means no transparency and improper oversight, with self-regulation especially in research science, then Americans and global healthcare consumers need to re-think the propaganda they are exposed to by the media and all health agencies. Pharmaceutical ads, like tobacco ads, should be banned. 

Frankly—and in my opinion, we definitely have a legal drug culture in the USA, legallysanctioned by the CDC/FDA and state health agencies. Most children are on one or two medications and dozens of vaccines; while all senior citizens can be counted on to take at least between 2 and 5 prescription drugs, plus vaccines. For just one disease—cancer—there are 771 new medicines and vaccines in development. [2] How many diseases are there? Here’s a listing of “Potential New Vaccines”, which I won’t even try to count, as I don’t have the time to scroll through all the information. 

So, how many new Rx and vaccine drugs do you think are in developmental pipelines? Pretty soon everyone will be required to get a vaccine a day, at the rate they are going. Fast-tracking to get drugs into markets is something the FDA now is trying to streamline. It would seem that the FDA responds to Big Pharma in this manner: Pharma says “Jump!” and FDA asks, “How high?” 

Granted that legitimate medications are necessary—even life-saving at times, but what’s going on now is nothing more than a money-making medical racket that, apparently, is positioned to do more harm than good. One hundred thousand Americans die a year from prescription drugs.[3] Moreover, many Rx drugs can become habit-forming and/or addictive. One prime ‘boutique’ drug, for example, is OxyContin®. Furthermore, how many MDs have been busted for selling scripts for prescribing the illegal use of that drug? 

During the Renaissance – the 14th to 17th centuries A.D. – art was the ‘fashionable’ trend and prevailing industry or business. Then, there was the Industrial Age that started in the later part of the 1700s introducing all types of machinery. Currently, even though you may think we are living in the technology age, we actually are living in the pharmaceutical age! 

The proof for that statement is in realizing that one cannot read a magazine, newspaper, or other advertisement without some reference to a pharmaceutical drug or advertisement for a health issue to bring to your doctor’s attention to prescribe a certain proprietary pharmaceutical. TV ads bombard viewers with multiple drug ads per advertising minute, similar to what the tobacco industry did in advertising their ‘cancer sticks’. 

By 1969, the stage had been set for a showdown over cigarette advertising and promotion" (Wagner, 1971: 190). The U.S. Government was increasing its efforts to discourage the sale of cigarettes. Post office trucks carried posters: "100,000 Doctors Have Quit Smoking. [8]
Do you think we will ever see a “showdown” about all the pharmaceutical drug advertisements? 

Supposedly, close to 80 percent of Big Pharma’s expenses are for marketing their controlled chemical substances. This article explains some of how Big Pharma spends its money to make money. 

To add to that, pharmaceutical drug reps prowl physicians’ offices like bees returning to the hive—in swarms. 

If no officials have realized the seriousness of the problems with over-prescribing pharmaceuticals, that’s because there is no real oversight, in my opinion. Congress constantly is lobbied by Big Pharma lobbyists who tell tales about how the latest drug is going to do this or that good, or new legislation to improve health services, all while much of the ‘science’ about drugs is not what everyone is told, including the U.S. FDA a lot of the time. Class action lawsuits by consumers being harmed by meds attest to bad pharmaceuticals. 

In 2004, Marcia Angell, MD, a former editor for almost 20 years at the New England Journal of Medicine, wrote a scathing book about Big Pharma titled, The Truth About the Drug Companieswhich The New York Times reviewed here. If anyone ought to know the pharmaceutical industry inside out, shouldn’t it be Dr. Angell? And still, her book has had absolutely no impact on ‘restraining collars’ being placed upon the pharmaceutical industry, their researchers’ fraudulent practices, and their apparent unethical business practices. How many of the Big Pharma ‘brotherhood’ have been fined by the USA government for fraud and other illegal practices? Are fines the only oversight? Or, do fines keep the merry-go-round going? 

Here’s a listing of just ten companies that I included in my Activist Post article, “Big Pharma’s Corporate Crimes and Fines: How Can They Get Away With It?” 

  1. Pfizer agreed to pay $2.3 billion in 2009
  2. Novartis agreed to pay $423 million in 2010
  3. Sanofi-Aventis to pay more than $95 million to settle fraud charge in 2009
  4. GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3 billion in 2011
  5. AstraZeneca to pay $520 million in 2010 to settle fraud case
  6. Roche convinces governments to stockpile Tamiflu
  7. Johnson & Johnson fined more than $1.1 billion in 2012
  8. Merck to pay $670 million over Medicaid fraud in 2007
  9. Eli Lilly to pay more than $1.4 billion for illegal marketing in 2009
  10. Abbott to pay $1.5 billion for Medicaid fraud in 2012
Now, let’s talk about the real “meat and potatoes” issues regarding pharmaceuticals. 

In The New York Times review of Dr. Angell’s book mentioned above, we find this: 

Over the past two decades the pharmaceutical industry has moved very far from its original high purpose of discovering and producing useful new drugs. Now primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, this industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including the US Congress, the FDA, academic medical centers, and the medical profession itself. (Most of its marketing efforts are focused on influencing doctors, since they must write the prescriptions.)
What I underscored above hits the nail on the head in more ways than one! Children’s ‘boutique’ drugs are vaccines starting with day one of their just-born lives, the Hepatitis B vaccine for a sexually-transmitted disease. For senior citizens, there are quite a few ‘performer’ drugs, including annual flu and pneumococcal vaccines. 

The bottom line about prescription drugs is that they are BIG—rather HUMONGOUS—business for all involved: Big Pharma, MDs who get kickbacks and commissions for prescribing drugs, and pharmacy chains like Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, etc. Who’s going to complain about drug abuse when they are making money hand-over-fist? Legally, too! 

According to the Healthy Home Economist webpage, here are some kickback figures since 2009 for payments to Doctors: [4] 

  • Eli Lily  144.1 Million $
  • GlaxoSmithKline  96.4 Million $ 
  • AstraZeneca  22.8 Million $ 
  • Pfizer  19.8 Million $ 
  • Johnson and Johnson  10.6 Million $ 
  • Merck & Co.  9.4 Million $
There really ought to be a law against doctors’ kickbacks! In the insurance industry, kickback practices are called rebating [5], and are illegal. That should be made the same for the medical profession and pharmaceutical industry, in particular, which needs more cleaning up than an outdoor porta-potty, I think. 

Are you ready for the hard facts about pharmaceutical drugs? 

According to The Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation webpage “Total Number of Retail Prescription Drugs Filled at Pharmacies” in the timeframe 2013, the total Rx drugs in the USA was 3,899,799,770 – that’s close to four (4) billion—with a “B”. That, I assume, does not include pharmaceuticals dispensed in hospitals.
Currently, there were only 320,324,830 (that’s million, not billion) people in the USA on the census clock that I accessed Feb. 11, 2015. Back in 2013, there were quite a few less souls in the USA. So, how many prescription drugs are being overprescribed? What’s the average per person? Astounding? And, still, no one thinks that’s abnormal! Can that be why we have so many sick people, and the cost of healthcare is over the moon?

Surely, Big Pharma has found its niche market, while healthcare consumers are paying the price in more ways than one! The most outrageous way is the cost of losing one’s health due to fraud in pharmaceutical science, adverse reactions, iatrogenic diseases and, especially, with vaccines for children and adults due to neurotoxins and other toxic chemicals in them. Autism is now one in 50; whereas in the 1970s, it was one in 10,000! 

Prescription Drugs: Retail prescription drug spending grew 2.5 percent to $271.1 billion, compared to 0.5 percent growth in 2012. Faster growth in 2013 resulted from price increases for brand-name and specialty drugs, increased spending on new medicines, and increased utilization. [9] [CJF emphasis added]
The world’s 11 largest drug companies made a net profit of $711.4 billion from 2003 to 2012. Six of these companies are headquartered in the United Sates: Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Abbot Laboratories, Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly. In 2012 alone, the top 11 companies earned nearly $85 billion in net profits. According to IMS Health, a worldwide leader in health care research, the global market for pharmaceuticals is expected to top $1 trillion in sales by 2014. [10] [CJF emphasis added. This may be what it’s all about—product sales, I offer.]
Isn’t it long overdue that healthcare consumers demand better healthcare practices, and look for other modalities of healthcare that don’t make them into legal drug addicts? Below, when you read the website about drugs pulled from the market after ‘ages’ being legally prescribed, you ought to stop and wonder, “What are they doing to us and how can they get away with it legally?” Who’s covering their derrieres, and why? on its “Prescription Drug Ads” webpage features this: “35 FDA-Approved Prescription Drugs Later Pulled from the Market”. According to their information, the drugs Darvon and Darvocet were on the market for 55 years (1955 to Nov. 19, 2010) before being pulled because of causing serious toxicity to the heart with over 2,110 deaths reported! CDC/FDA, don’t you know what you are doing? Congress, where’s your oversight? State licensing boards, wake up! 

DrugWatch publishes “Dangerous Drugs” here, which discusses diabetes drugs, hormone drugs, birth control pills, acne medication, cholesterol drugs, blood thinners, osteoporosis treatments, pain medication, gastrointestinal drugs, dialysis treatment, and a hair loss pill. 

In essence, do you think that maybe MDs don’t know what they are prescribing? If you are taking any of those pills, maybe you ought to see another MD for a second opinion about your condition and the Rx drugs you take. 

No one can trust Big Pharma’s fudged science reports to get Rx drugs through the FDA’s approval process or licensing for vaccines. In 2013, Fortune published the article “Dirty medicine… The epic inside story of long-term criminal fraud at Ranbaxy, the Indian drug company that makes generic Lipitor for millions of Americans.” [6] Statins and cholesterol-lowering drugs, including generics, are widely prescribed in the USA. However, the FDA expanded its advice on statin drugs, which consumers should know here

However, after reviewing what’s happened in the past, we can be certain that business as usual at CDC/FDA and professional associations probably will be the same. The only thing that may change in the future is larger fines with no real relief for healthcare consumers, since the U.S. FDA apparently is Big Pharma’s lackeys.
For consumers, who are confused about their pills looking differently from previous pills taken, generic meds, or would like to identify pills found around the house that may have been brought into the house under dubious circumstances, there’s the website “Pill Identifier” published by . 

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program is “an international substance abuse prevention education program that seeks to prevent use of controlled drugs, membership in gangs, and violent behavior.” [7] That must include the medical profession—MDs in particular—and all others who push prescription drugs as a cultural and economic thing to do. 

As an afterthought to all the above information, the information does not include OTC—Over the Counter Drug—sales in the USA, which amount to another huge market. As you can see from this data site reporting OTC sales from 1964 to 2013, we truly have become ‘legal drug addicts’. 

The figures speak for themselves: 

In 1964 OTC sales were $1.9 Billion
In 2013 OTC sales totaled $33.1 Billion, almost 17.5 times an increase in 48 to 49 years.
Even the above figures are not an accurate picture, since according to the annotations on asterisked chart figures for the years 2000 to 2008, Wal-Mart OTC sales were not included. 

Lastly, I think I must report conflicts of interest, personal or professional, in the pharmaceutical industry and its products. I own no pharmaceutical company stocks, nor have I taken pharmaceutical drugs since about 1974, when prescription medications almost killed me. That was the best thing that ever happened to me. It made me find holistic health modalities, which gave me back my life. However, I must admit that when I was 7 years old, penicillin probably saved my life for which I am grateful, since I had lobar pneumonia. 




Why Do Americans Take So Many Prescription Drugs? 

Death from Prescription Drugs: The New Epidemic Sweeping Across America 

Catherine retired from researching and writing, but felt compelled to write this article. 

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.

Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on

Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on and as a Kindle eBook.

Two of Catherine’s more recent books on are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)

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